Discussions and Tentative Agreements
Dear AFA members-
Your Negotiating Committee just wrapped up 2 weeks of bargaining with management. Here is a recap of our activities.
Recall Pay Correction for September – March
The Company suddenly changed the way recall was paid which resulted in the underpayment of a large number of Flight Attendants. After discovering this problem, AFA filed a grievance and went to management to rectify the situation. Management agreed to pay recall correctly going forward; however, Crew Payroll did not have the manpower to handle the large volume of past pay discrepancies. An agreement was reached to have an AFA representative work with payroll to figure out the correct back-pay amounts for each Flight Attendant impacted. Once the scope of the problem is identified, more information will be sent. Mahalo to those Flight Attendants who brought this to our attention.
Discussions and Tentative Agreements (TA) Reached
During the negotiations process, the parties reach “tentative agreements” on complex issues or entire sections of our Contract. This process allows us to move forward and focus on other topics. It is important to note that tentative agreements are not immediately effective and are not in force at this time. Tentative agreements become effective once the entire contract has been put out for membership vote and ratified.
Lower Crew Rest on the A330 – TA
The AFA reached a tentative agreement with management on pass-riding Flight Attendants access to the Lower Crew Rest on non-ER flights.
PBS Committee – Discussion Continuing
A significant portion of the talks centered on improving the profile and importance of the AFA’s PBS Committee. The committee members will have greater access to the PBS systems in order to monitor and assist in improving the bid awards. These AFA company-paid positions will be charged with answering Flight Attendant inquiries, PBS training and assisting Flight Attendants with bidding. We are hopeful this will improve the PBS experience for Flight Attendants once implemented.
Voluntary and Involuntary Recall Time Limits – TA
In our Contract today, there is no “cut off” time stated for switching from offering voluntary recall to involuntary recall. This resulted in confusion, inconsistent application, and missed voluntary recall opportunities. For example, a more junior Flight Attendant was assigned a recall trip that a more senior Flight Attendant was willing to take. We have reached agreement that voluntary recall will be offered until at least 3 hours prior to each recall trip’s departure time.
Low Time and LOA Bidding – TA
There was an interest in streamlining the bid and award process. We felt this was a non-contentious item to discuss which could get things moving. We aligned the bid closing and awarding dates for Low Time and Short Term Leaves of Absence. Instead of remembering different dates for bid deadlines, all the bid and award dates and times are synchronized.
Reserve System – we discussed how reserves are assigned, honoring of preferences, standby periods, automation. Management investigated how reserve is handled at Alaska, Southwest and JetBlue. The AFA sent Martin Gusman to Alaska Airlines to learn from our AFA counterparts there. He was able to observe their joint PBS committee in the process of doing the monthly award and learn about their reserve system and report back to the committee.
Electronic Communications – we are close to reaching a TA on moving to electronic notification for many items. There are still some sticking points on notifications involving discipline and the grievance procedure.
Staffing – given that there have been several issues with sick leave and the threat of cancelled vacations, we wanted to explore whether or not the operation was correctly staffed. Management explained their current staffing levels and future projections. A new class of 31 starts this weekend and two additional classes of 50 each will be online by the end of the year.
Grievances – during the negotiations process, opportunities present themselves to resolve grievances. This is because by studying grievances, the parties can identify provisions of the contract that are unclear and work to clarify the language. Sometimes, the related grievances can be settled also. This occurred with the Recall Bypass language and we are talking with management about resolving those cases. Other “buckets” of grievances are also under discussion.
**We want to address a topic concerning calling in sick to the Inflight Absence Management Team. Flight Attendants are not required to disclose the nature of their illness or the particular reason they are calling in sick. A doctor’s note should state the period of time the Flight Attendant were under her or his care and need not disclose the reason for the doctor’s visit.
Our next session will be the week of June 26th.
As a reminder, our email address is open and available for questions, comments, or suggestions. Our address is AFAcontract2017@halafa.org
Mahalo from the Negotiating Committee,
Sharon Soper, Diana Huihui, Ka'imi Lee, Martin Gusman, Jeff Fuke and
Paula Mastrangelo, AFA Senior Staff Negotiator